Q&A with Tim Harmon

Eliza Tudor
Eliza Tudor
April 26, 2023
15 min read
Q&A #007: Tim Harmon, Poet, Artist, Community Organizer, Publisher, and Expert in Architectural Salvage

Ready to party?

Welcome to our new and improved site—just in time for our first birthday celebration on May 1!


A year ago, we officially launched OIP with a call-out for our inaugural project, Playing Authors. After years of mulling and planning, we set off on this adventure and it’s been…

Exciting/terrifying? Absolutely!

An ever-evolving source of learning? You betcha!

It’s also been a heck of a lot of fun. And we have the beanies to prove it.

I know I speak for everyone involved with OIP when I say that the very best part of this adventure has been in the collaboration. The making something, together. Meeting people, witnessing their creative gifts, and developing ways to celebrate them is an absolute privilege. Thank you! Thank you for helping us launch this venture. Thank you for supporting us, and thank you for continuing to create with us. 

We are excited about our merch offerings, and we can’t wait to share our inaugural anthology, Playing Authors, with you. Starting in May, we will begin introducing our contributors ahead of our book launch later this year.

Don’t forget to check out the notes and reminders at the end of this post for more about May’s open-call for OIP’s collaborative newsletter, THE GUTENBORG PROJECT and much more! 

And now, welcome to…

with Alex Mattingly, OIP Consulting Editor

Recently my niece, who is also a writer, recommended I read Gail Carson Levine’s Writing Magic. The book is aimed at kids (my niece is only eleven) and includes a list of seven main rules for young writers. This is the seventh:

“Save everything you write, even if you don’t like it, even if you hate it. Save it for a minimum of fifteen years.”

The reason?

“I used to think, long ago, that when I grew up, I’d remember what it felt like to be a child and that I’d always be able to get back to my child self,”
writes Carson Levine. “But I can’t. When you become a teenager, you step onto a bridge. You may already be on it. The opposite shore is adulthood. Childhood lies behind you. The bridge is made of wood. As you cross, it burns behind you.”

Joan Didion
must have thought something similar when she wrote, “We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.” For Didion, this was part of the reason for keeping a notebook. For Carson Levine, it’s about saving those shitty first drafts. There is always more of us in our own writing than we might care to imagine. Be careful what you discard.


This month we also have a Q&A with an Indy original, Tim Harmon.

Tim Harmon

A poet, artist, community organizer, publisher, and expert in architectural salvage, Tim Harmon is an Indianapolis Renaissance man. At age 70, he and his partners at Tim & Company’s Another Fine Mess are “still taking buildings apart by hand all over Indiana and selling the pieces.”

Tim also runs a small press, Restoration Press, and operates Indy’s Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum located next door to the shop on East 10th Street.

Tim & Company’s Another Fine Mess
Indy’s Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum

I recently had the pleasure to visit Tim and Co. and tour Indy’s Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum. Not to give too much away ahead of your own visit, but one of the reasons this museum dedicated to Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s creation exists is the sculpture’s status in the public domain. OIP was lucky enough to do a Q&A with Tim, but I will let him tell you more about Lady Liberty for your 50¢.

Without further ado, here’s Tim!


At OIP, we love the fact that everyone has their own set of "classics" (i.e., books, songs, recipes, comics, food, objects, movies, shows, etc. that shaped you). What were some of your favorite childhood "classics"?


MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN is the first book I ever bought. I loved that book and read it over and over. As a younger child I enjoyed Dr. Seuss’s books. I lived on peanut butter. I ate spaghetti plain, no sauce. And I ate rice sandwiches, White rice on white bread. The first album I bought was Roger Miller, but I soon fell in love with Sonny & Cher. I spent most of my money on folk music, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Judy Collins and such. When I turned eleven I started work in a retail store in my neighborhood. They sold Dog Food. No pets, just pet food. I loved that store and worked there till I was nineteen and remained best friends with the owner till she died about four years ago. I am now 70 years old.


Where would your adventure be set: underwater or in space?


An adventure? I would never put my head under water or go into space.


Favorite word / font / letter?


My favorite word is MERCY. Showing mercy to each other is probably the most important thing we can do for each other.


What are some things you enjoy doing off-screen? (*your very own digital disruption):


What things do I love to do? I love my work. I take buildings apart and I sell the pieces, I have a retail store. I have been doing that for forty years. I make art, I write poetry and I just spent the last year writing and printing my memoir. It is selling well.


Snacks while you work–yes/no? If yes, what’s your go-to?


My go to snack, peanut butter on Ritz crackers and ice cream. I believe it is never too cold to have ice cream and never too hot to have soup. I eat each every day. 


You are hosting a party. Who’s coming? Where and when? What’s being served?(Fictional characters and locales are welcome.)  


If I was having a party I would have it at our home and in the backyard. I would like to invite Lyle Lovett, Charles Bukowski, Joan Beaz, John Hiatt and many of my friends. I would serve snackie kinds of food. Nachos, cheese, meats and vegetables. I have owned two restaurants and have catered a lot of parties in my life. So I would serve some of the popular stuff I used to make for parties.


Any recommendations for the OIP community? What have you been enjoying lately? (Or, something you are working on that you would like to share?)


I enjoy movies at the theater. I don't watch films at home. I try to see at least one or two a week. I like to read and work at our store.


As lovers of reuse, modification, and collaboration, we are so inspired by your shop and your projects through the years. Would you share a bit about the origin story for Tim and Co., the iterations, and the process of making it what it is today? 

You have an in-house publishing project. Would you tell us more about Restoration Press?


Tim & Co. ANOTHER FINE MESS is our store at 2901 East Tenth Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. As I have said, we sell architectural antiques. It is a very green business. Instead tons of building parts are being reused and not being dumped in the landfill. Electricity, water, and natural resources are not being used to create what we sell. Everything is old and still has lots of years of service left in it. My partners Karka Flocker and Katie Kelly and I got to buildings that are being remodeled or torn down. We purchase and remove pieces that we feel are still usable. 

We also have a museum at 2907 East Tenth Street next to our store. Our museum is INDY'S TEENY STATUE OF LIBERTY MUSEUM. We have over 600 pieces of Statue of Liberty stuff. People from all over the world have traveled to see our museum. Admission is fifty cents. It is a lot of fun.

We also have a small press. It is Restoration Press at the same address as the store. We publish chapbooks for Indiana poets. We have published seven books so far.

Assorted ephemera at Indy's Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum
Assorted ephemera at Indy's Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum
Assorted ephemera at Indy’s Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum
Tim Harmon signing a copy of Boomer Boy: My Normal Life

Thank you so much, Tim! Follow @timandcompanys for more. Visit Another Fine Mess, Indy’s Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum, and look for Tim Harmon’s memoir, Boomer Boy: My Normal Life, available now from Restoration Press.


Issue #001 of THE GUTENBORG PROJECT is out now! And it includes an upcoming call-out during the month of May! All contributors included in THE GUTENBORG PROJECT will receive a special embroidered patch, created with our partners, United State Print Co. Sign up today to receive TGP seasonally in the email account you love best.

Check out our Instagram for Trivia Tuesday, our monthly gameshow, hosted by Alyssa Preston. On the first Tuesday of every month, we host a series of questions in our IG Stories. The first person to answer the most questions correctly has the chance to win a variety of curiously curated collectibles.

We post regularly about books we love on our Instagram and have a site where you can discover even more. We champion retooled classics, underdogs, and disobedient forms.

Welcome to OIP Merch! Have you seen our posters? We’re incredibly excited to share all these items with you. Every purchase supports our press and the writers/artists/makers we publish.

HUMANicules Poster
Love & Rage Sticker
QWERTY Denim Hat
Through the Loupe Tee

And continue to follow along on the road to publishing our first project, an anthology, Playing Authors, coming out fall 2023.

At OIP, we are dedicated to publishing the small, strange, and uncategorizable. And, having fun doing it.

Thanks again for being part of our first year. Onwards!

– Eliza & Everyone at OIP
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